The Friends & Members of 750 Words

750 Words exists because of mutual good will between the people that run this site (Buster & Kellianne) and the people who use it (you). The site wouldn't exist without the generosity, patience, and humor of everyone involved. For the first 3+ years that the site was running (Dec 2009 to May 2013), the site was free to use but with some encouragement to donate. That served us well (and most importantly, generated enough income to keep the site up), but as the site grew the need for support also grew.

On June 12th 2013, all existing users of the site were given lifetime free accounts (we hope you'll continue to donate when you can). New accounts created after June 12th, 2013 are now required to become members within 30 days after signing up in order to keep writing. Everyone will always have access to previous writings, stats, etc, even if they choose not to become members.

We're listening to your feedback and want to make sure that first and foremost, we offer a friendly and safe place for people to dump their private thoughts. I expect that we'll continue to adjust the way this all works for the near term. Thanks for being an awesome community!

Who runs this site?

Our names are Buster and Kellianne, we live in Berkeley, California with our son Niko, and this is something we've built and run in our spare time.

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Notes of inspiration from members

1 cup
More badges for accomplishments

For me, the badges are highly motivating. Also fun!

New Feature Vote from Jess Adams on Tue, Sep 14
1 cup

There are many sites and books out there that tell you to just go with the moment and write what’s in your brain, but 750 Words takes it a step further and keeps tabs on your progress. It’s a powerful thing to actually see the day’s Counter tick down with every word.written. It gives you an incentive to write more. It also helps to identify recurring themes in your own writing that you may not be aware of. I absolutely love this site!

Testimonial Note from Kia Iak on Sun, Sep 12
3 cups

I remember how I got started with this site. A few of my writing buddies signed up for it. This was July 1st. I signed up, forgot about it, and then came back on July 3rd with renewed interest. I liked the idea. I found out I was a few days late for signing up for the July challenge. But I stuck to writing daily. I have always enjoyed the idea of the morning pages. I wrote steadily for 67 days, often at night, mostly using the site as a place to brainstorm plots for my writing. I was an albatross! A phoenix was within my grasp.

And then on the 68th day, I totally forgot and I fell asleep before I could write.

I woke that morning regretting it deeply. I had done so well! I spent a weekend camping without Internet access, and through the miracle of being able to manipulate what time zone I live in, I still managed to get my 750 words done. So what if I had to say I lived in Fiji for a day? It meant that for the one full day I was gone, I could fix things. I switched it back to Alaska (hey, I’m a night owl) when I returned.

I enjoyed the site because I could use it mostly for thinking about plot and plot points. I work full time in addition to trying to write a novel, so sometimes it just helped to repeat myself to remember what I had to do. Sure, when I had to kill a character (as writers often do) my “stats” registered as me being mostly concerned with death, and they always say that I talk a lot about other people (the characters), but I can take that all with a grain of salt. It’s just the site trying to help.

Then, a few weeks ago I started treating the site as a blog. I would mostly forget about talking about writing, or I’d squeeze it in at the end. According to my stats, I was going through a very negative phase, because lately, my life hasn’t been all peaches and cream. But I already have a personal Livejournal (in addition to my very public one) and this site is (for me) about brainstorming, about clearing these thoughts from my head before getting started on actual-writing. I didn’t like the way this was going, because it felt like I was wallowing. Maybe my head needed clearing, but I just can’t stand negativity and after I wrote it, I didn’t feel any better or clear-headed.

(At this point, I’m not saying that the site should only be used for brainstorming, but it’s helped me. Whatever the reason for needing to clear your head, it’s a good idea.)

So when I failed for the first time, it was this past Wednesday. I thought I would put it off until bed. Then I fell asleep. As I said, I hated losing my albatross badge for it. And then I had a thought: Y’know, this could either go one of two ways. I could give up forever (after all, we’re getting into a busy season and I’ll be at a writing conference in October) or I could do what I said I would do on the Monthly Challenge Pages if I ever failed: “Pick myself up, dust myself off, and keep writing.”

Well, I failed. The albatross is gone and I’m left with a friggin’ egg! Yesterday, Friday, I let things slide deliberately, even though I logged my writing for Thursday. The decision has come to today. So, what do I do?

Maybe I don’t use the site in the same way that other people do. Maybe I need to take care of myself, and even put my actual-writing first. Maybe I’ll fail again, like at the Writing Conference, and I’ll be punished with another egg. There are so many excuses.

Yet I did my writing today despite that. And I intend to use this site better, really for plotting instead of wallowing. Maybe I’ll fail again. But there is one great lesson I keep having to re-learn just because I’m so good at forgetting:

We all have our bad days. Not every day is going to go as planned. The only thing we can do is dust ourselves off and keep writing.

Besides, eggs make great omelettes.

(And maybe on the site, I might move to Fiji. Or maybe Auckland. What’s a writer, if not a dreamer?)

Testimonial Note from L.S. Taylor on Sun, Sep 12
1 cup
More badges!

This is probably because I am a total child, but I love the reward system of getting badges for certain achievements on the site. I just wish there were more! I guess the trick is not to make them so easy to achieve that they lose value, but I notice that once someone has written 30 days, they could have obtained almost all the badges and that awesome part of the site, the badges, becomes irrelevant to them. Thanks for listening!

New Feature Request Note from Thor McCready on Sun, Sep 12
1 cup

Just wrote my 750 for the day: about where I was and what was going on in my life on September 11th 2001. I brought back some memories that had been buried for a long time – and I think life’s better for having them back. I wouldn’t have done that without the discipline of daily writing, so – thank you, Buster :)

Testimonial Note from Stephanie Lay on Sat, Sep 11
3 cups
Mid-Month Monthly Challenge

For folks who come to 750words on, say, the 5th day of the month and would like to start a challenge without waiting 3 1/2 weeks for another month to start: maybe we could have a New Moon Month Challenge for those who start on the 1st of the month and a Full Moon Month Challenge for those who start on the 15th of a month and go the 15th of the next month. Then new folks would only have to wait 2 weeks at the most to start a challenge. :-)

New Feature Request Note from Sara Thompson on Sat, Sep 11
1 cup

I LOVE 750 Words. Really. I keep telling all kinds of people about it because it’s been so helpful for me. I’m launching a writing career as we speak and I seriously doubt I’d be as successful as I’ve been had I not found 750 words. Who knew little animal icons could be so freaking compelling. And the one month challenge really kept me motivated. Super thumbs up all around. Two of ’em. Way up.

Testimonial Note from Melanie Crutchfield on Sat, Sep 11
1 cup
Revision to the intro page

This is not exactly a feature; it just involves editing some text.

Now that 750words.com is rather well known I think its written structural content (that’s my clunky made-up phrase for everything Mr. Buster Benson has written to help us use and understand this site) deserves to be as professional as possible, especially on the first page that everyone sees before logging in.

I’m talking specifically about the first paragraph, citing the “morning pages” strategy from The Artist’s Way as the source idea for an online daily 750-words writing program. All of us here are grateful to Julia Cameron for writing that book and inspiring Buster Benson — but her name doesn’t appear at all!

My opinion is, first, that she herself should be referenced as the author of The Artist’s Way; and, second, that once this is done the last sentence in that first paragraph should be changed so as NOT to appear a very backhanded compliment. As it stands, of course, it implies that all of the other ideas in The Artist’s Way don’t work and are totally useless—and there’s not even a “for me” at the end to suggest any possibility of their being helpful to others. This does not strike me as a gracious way to conclude an acknowledgment of one’s debt to another’s idea, and I think it needs changing.

It occurred to me in writing this note that Julia Cameron might not like to be associated with 750words.com — perhaps she is very committed to writing the morning pages longhand — and perhaps that’s why her name isn’t shown on the first page. However, if this is not the reason, then nevertheless contacting her wouldn’t hurt and seems to be an easy thing to do through her website at www.theartistsway.com.

(I am not associated in any way with Julia Cameron; I haven’t even read The Artist’s Way. I just like politeness.)

New Feature Request Note from Anonymous on Fri, Sep 10
1 cup

Buster is amazing. He’s quick to respond to site issues, and that fills me with confidence and warm squishies inside. Who knew badges and a bowling score were going to be so important to me? It keeps me writing! THANK YOU!

Testimonial Note from Kate C on Fri, Sep 10
2 cups
More badges for accomplishments

I think there should be something like a “Back in the saddle” for people like me who fell off the horse for a few days and then get back on for say, 15 days or something like that. It is so depressing to think I won’t get any more badges, especially since I even patronified since I lost the challenge this month. :-( Also, a monthly badge for each month challenge one wins would be great.

New Feature Vote from Julie Jordan Scott on Thu, Sep 09
3 cups
More badges for accomplishments
New Feature Vote from janet chant on Thu, Sep 09
1 cup
Secure server for writing
New Feature Vote from janet chant on Thu, Sep 09
1 cup

I never really had a problem in writing a lot every day, but I did have a problem with keeping my work and not destroying it. 750 words started as a safe notepad for me to have saved work and has morphed into a venue to write work or vent until it turns to work-related writing. In the time that I have used 750words, I have written my entire dissertation and will hopefully be done with the polishing this week. I’m a little amazed at how helpful/therapeutic/invigorating I found 750words generally. It’s an easy platform and the internal pressure of doing it every day has kept me in check in many ways, on many levels.

Testimonial Note from Maryam Bakht on Wed, Sep 08
1 cup
Suggestions

Can you find a way to get the “favicon” for the site to be something that stands out more than the image of three sheets of paper? Okay. maybe that’s only on my computer or certain browsers, but I’ll assume that it’s true no matter what OS or browser you’re using. And, the reason I ask is that it looks a lot like the “default” favicon (a blank sheet of paper), so that I sometimes (tonight would be one of those times) clicking on the non-750words.com icon and finding myself going to a site that I didn’t intend to, or – as happened tonight – hitting a bookmarklet and saving a page of gibberish to Instapaper.com.

I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who has this problem, so I completely understand if this goes to the bottom of the to do list…or doesn’t even make the list. But, you did ask, so.

New Feature Request Note from Hal Tepfer on Wed, Sep 08
3 cups
Double Down on Charity Note from Julie Jordan Scott on Tue, Sep 07
1 cup
More text analysis
New Feature Vote from Pumpkin on Tue, Sep 07
1 cup

I used to be so good at journaling and then I let graduate school take over my life. I haven’t written in a journal in about 4 years, and I missed it. Now I’m finally getting back into it again! Thanks!

Testimonial Note from Sara Thompson on Tue, Sep 07
1 cup

Go, writer, go!

One Month Challenge Bounty from Beverly Army Williams on Tue, Sep 07
1 cup
Double Down on Charity Note from Beverly Army Williams on Tue, Sep 07
1 cup
An iPhone/iPad app

I stink at typing on my iPhone, but there are days when I won’t be near a computer, and I don’t want to have to skip!

New Feature Vote from Beverly Army Williams on Tue, Sep 07
1 cup
Double Down on Charity Note from Carrie Schroeder on Mon, Sep 06
4 cups
More badges for accomplishments
New Feature Vote from Carrie Schroeder on Mon, Sep 06
2 cups
A better mobile site
New Feature Vote from Carrie Schroeder on Mon, Sep 06
1 cup

This is my Note of Shame for August. I figured that the best way to make it have an impact was by contributing half it to 826 Seattle. Good luck, kids!

Double Down on Charity Note from Will Hopkins on Sun, Sep 05
1 cup
Secure server for writing
New Feature Vote from Ebun Omoni on Sun, Sep 05
2 cups
Secure server for writing
New Feature Vote from Sara Chatfield on Sat, Sep 04
2 cups

I just completed my second one-month challenge on the bounce, and it feels great! I cannot believe I’ve now written for 71 days in a row, and am now just 29 days from the Phoenix badge, which seemed so far away when I first signed up to the site back towards the end of June.

750 Words has helped me to start blogging properly – four entries on my blog so far, but I’m trying my best to keep it updated regularly, ideally a couple of times a week rather than once every three months, and this site has really helped me with that. The more I write, the more I want to write… it’s fantastic! See you again at the end of the month, when I hope to be singing with joy about my Phoenix badge!

Testimonial Note from Sophie on Sat, Sep 04
10 cups

Oh thank goodness for 750words.com!! As someone who used to circle my keyboard more times than an indecisive dog looking for a place to nap, I’ve finally found the perfect spot to launch my writing day. Since I began using this site at the end of May, I have written for 96% of the days. It’s painful to miss a day (love those badges!), so I’m very motivated to return – ideally daily. Best of all, and at long last, I’ve noticed a huge up tick in my ability to move forward on other writing projects. All those words that have been stuck in my head, rattling around like kibble in a dog bowl, finally have a place to go. I look forward to enjoying these benefits and more the longer I use this site, which I plan to do from now until forever. Oh, and one other thing: my typing speed has improved, too! Bonus!

Testimonial Note from Sandra Payne on Sat, Sep 04
1 cup

I love this site! Writing every day forces me to reflect and has both helped with my time management and my stress level. Thanks, 750words!

Testimonial Note from Karen Bernstein on Sat, Sep 04
2 cups
More badges for accomplishments
New Feature Vote from Karen Bernstein on Sat, Sep 04